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Old 09-25-03, 05:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I Finally Picked Up My Eight Baby Corns!!!

The outing to the Stockton Airborne Express (which was harder to find than a Christian Coalition member in a gay bar, by the way) really lifted my spirits. The package arrived with all eight babies alive and in good condition. The breeder is Kathy Love, who literally wrote the book on corn snakes. She has a wonderful website called Cornutopia. If you like snakes at all, don't miss it!

My corn snakes won't get their full adult colors for awhile, so I am just starting to see what the babies will look like. Hints of orange are peeking through here and there. I can tell where the white will be on the (so-far) very pale albinos. All of them are nearly twice the size of Bijou, my yearling Louisiana milksnake. In a few months they'll surpass Bayou. The three Okeetees almost equal him in length already.

I have to leave them alone for three days, which is very hard. They're so cute with their little bandit masks and flickering tongues. They remind me a bit of our local gopher snakes, only not nearly as robust. They're almost as streamlined as my kingsnakes at this early stage. Their tails are much longer in proportion to their bodies than those of the familiar local gopher snakes.

The breeder has a special agreement with the airlines about transporting live snakes, but doesn't want to alarm local Airborne Express employees. When asked a direct question, I have a very hard time lying, but I didn't want to renege on an agreement with the seller.

"What's in here?" asked the Airborne Express rep. She looked young and impressionable. The air holes were conspicuous. It probably didn't help that warnings were posted all over the box to keep it cool and out of direct sunlight. In one corner were the mystical words: "8 Elaphe guttata." That's the scientific nomenclature for corn snakes. Elaphe guttata! What a wonderful phrase. Elaphe guttata! Ain't no passing craze!

I looked at the box for clues on how best to lie my way through this. "Um...these are perishable...er, supplies."

OK, in a way that's true. The snakes are perishable. And they are supplies for my someday breeding colony. In the meantime, they'll make great pets...once they're over the stress of the move.

Can you imagine what the little buggers went through? Who knows how many planes they were loaded onto? When they arrived, they arrived pissed. I had to make sure they were OK, so I opened the lids to their little containers. Each one greeted me with a rattling tail. You'd rattle your tail, too, if someone had just air-mailed you across the country. During the inspection, the head would invariable poke out, the tongue would flicker, and a few times I received a nip for my troubles.

"Well, they're definitely alive," I remarked.

I'm the only person I know who thinks a pissed-off baby snake is cute. I smiled at each tail rattle and laughed at each bite. Of course, I didn't want to stress them more than was necessary, but I had to admire an animal that let it be known it wasn't happy...to a creature thousands of times its size! That takes chutzpah!

Once home, I tucked them safely into their terrariums. I will only look, not touch, for three days, then try a feeding. After that, I still won't bother them much for awhile. They've undergone a very traumatic experience. They don't need extra stress. But it's going go be HARD to leave them alone.

Did I mention they are very cute?

One thing I'm learning is that reptiles do everything slowly. I knew that already: head knowledge. But I'm also learning that they adapt to new environments more slowly than warm-blooded animals. It took my female kingsnake six weeks!!! She still isn't completely comfortable with her surroundings.

Because the corns are young, they should settle in a bit more rapidly, but I bet it takes at least two to three weeks.

(Note: I've renamed my Arizona Mt. Kingsnakes to Aragorn and Arwen. The other names were bothering me for some reason.)

Now comes the hard part.

I need names. Lots of names. Eight names for eight corn snakes.

I have one male and two female Okeetees. I have one male and two female albino (reverse) Okeetees.
___________________________________

Originally, I was supposed to get a pair of hypos or rosies, but they refused to eat frozen / thawed mice and I really don't like to feed live if I can help it. (Call me a wimp if you want to. I can feed live. I just prefer not to if it can be helped.)

So I got a male crimson and a female hypo with ghost heritage.

Did I mention I need names? Eight of them?

It would also be nice to get some ideas on how to play around with the crimson and the hypo. Both are hypomelanistic and the hypo has a primo ghost corn for a father, so she's het for type A anerythrism, too.

I really know very little about mixing and matching. Breeding them together would give me hypos for sure, but what color blotches? Very interesting.
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1.1 Arizona mountain kingsnakes (Chris Baubel and Gerold Merker)
1.1 Louisiana milksnakes (John Yurkovich)
1.2 Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.1 albino Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.0 hypo crimson corn (Kathy Love)
0.1 hypo corn / het for ghost (Kathy Love)
1.0 double-yellowheaded Amazon parrot
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Old 09-25-03, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Congratulations on your new additions! Well, Invictus and I name our corns after movie and novel characters. Our corns are Trinity, Morpheus, Neo, Raistlin, Caramon, Goldmoon, Kitiara, and Tasslehoff. So, I suggest naming them after some characters from your fave book or movie. Good luck with them!
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Old 09-25-03, 06:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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LOL.. great story. And no, you're not the only one who thinks it's hilarious when a young snake is pi$$ed off. Hell, I think it's funny when our ADULT corns start hissing at us.
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Old 09-25-03, 07:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Good story! Baby snakes are so funny when they show attitude. Especially baby corns and kings . Your new corns sound full of character! Congratulations on your new snakes and good luck come breeding time.
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Old 09-26-03, 08:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Congratulations. Corns are one of my favourites. katey and I have a (mostly) russian naming scheme for our snakes.
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Old 09-26-03, 08:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Congratulations on your new corns - sure you will love them and they are extremely addictive. They are so cute when youngsters - so defensive and yet corns are so trusting and easy to handle - mine just wrap their tail around a finger and seem content - major contrast to the crazy milksnakes that are a challenge to pick up and take forever to settle down (only once they are exhausted I think).

There was a thread a week or so ago on pet names and there should be some good ideas for you there.

Look forward to seeing photos once they are settled in and feeding well for you,

mary v.
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Old 09-26-03, 08:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new additions
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Old 10-09-03, 01:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks!

The babies are getting a little more settled and I've named most of them. I'll list the names when I'm not feeling quite so comatose.

I do have Louisiana milksnakes and they are so very unlike their reputation. Both the 18-inch male and 10-inch female are very, very calm.

I don't know if this is considered "wrong" in herpetological circles, but I feed Bayou when I'm holding him. I let him tongue-flick the f/t mouse, then slowly draw it away. He strikes, then stays in my hands as he devours his meal.

Bayou and Aragorn (the pyro) are the calmest snakes I have. Bijou, the tiny milk is next calmest, followed by Arwen the pyro, then all the baby corns. They just need time to settle down.

I feel fortunate that my milksnakes are so calm. When Bijou grows up, I am hoping for calmer-than-usual babies. I don't know if their disposition is due to my handling or their natures, but they are nice snakes.
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|_ /\ |) `/ |-| /\ \/\/ |<

1.1 Arizona mountain kingsnakes (Chris Baubel and Gerold Merker)
1.1 Louisiana milksnakes (John Yurkovich)
1.2 Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.1 albino Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.0 hypo crimson corn (Kathy Love)
0.1 hypo corn / het for ghost (Kathy Love)
1.0 double-yellowheaded Amazon parrot
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Old 10-09-03, 05:42 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Kathy Love has great snakes. I've gotten two from her in the past. Congradulations on your 8 new arrivals.
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Old 10-09-03, 11:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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*grin* My juvie ratsnake (Leucistic Texas Rat) Mitsu is referred to affectionally as 'the p i ss-ant'. He's very fiesty, will arch up like he thinks he's a cobra and rattle his tail like he thinks he's fooling someone. It's hilarious. Little brat will chase me out of his enclosure when he's in a mood.

He's fun, quite a contrast to my boids which are all pretty calm. I joke that he's training for an ATB. (Which I am looking to acquire in the near future.)
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Old 10-09-03, 02:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ya our corn still likes to take a strike now and then. though no tail rattling. It's usually after she eats, and has "dirtied" her cage up and we clean it. When we reach in she coils up and lets it be known that she does NOT want to be moved!!!!! Pick up a herb book, or a greek god/dess book.....there are some interesting names! Good luck and I can't wait to see pics!
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Old 10-09-03, 06:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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how about Snow White and the seven dwarves. I forget all their names, but I'm sure someone here knows.
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Old 10-09-03, 08:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I have three Okeetees: one male and two females. I have decided to name the male "Kernel Cobb." I want to name one of the females after the Native American corn goddess, "Selu."

One of the females has the wonderful belly checkerboard pattern from head to tail, which is a bit unusual. I'm wondering about a name that would acknowledge this feature, but "Checkers" sounds like a male name to me. What do you think?

_______________________________________________

I also have three albino or reverse Okeetees: one male and two females. The male has an inordinate amount of white. He should be a real looker when his orange comes in. In fact, some of his blotches are completely eclipsed by white. I wonder if the blotches will come in. I doubt it. If not, he'll have a pattern of white blotches on his sides. I've named him "Ringo." I've named one of his wives "Starr." Interestingly, the other female has a blotch that is shaped a bit like a crescent moon, so I've named her "Luna."

_______________________________________________

The other two are a crimson and a lovely hypo. They are both quite a bit snappier than the others, though I'm sure they'll calm down. I've named them "Lestat" and "Akasha."
_______________________________________________

My other snakes are Aragorn and Arwen, the Arizona Mt. Kingsnakes; and Bayou and Bijou the Louisiana milksnakes.

One thing I like about Louisianas is that they don't grow very large. Bayou is 17 inches plus, but Bijou is under ten inches.

I like the Louisianas best, probably because I've had them the longest and they defy all the bad press I've heard of milksnakes being nervous and spastic. When I feed Bayou, I actually hold him and hand-feed him. He will eat and swallow his meal while I am holding him. He is very, very tame. (I'm not sure this is considered a good practice, but I enjoy watching him enjoy his meal.)

The littlest milksnake is just so cute. She's a year old, but tiny. Louisianas hatch out at five inches...so small!

_______________________________________________

The problem is I haven't run out of names. I want to name one "Legolas" after the elf in LOTR. Legless, Legolas...get it? So, I have an extra name for a male, but I'm still looking for a name for female Okeetee. Maybe the fully checkerboarded female should be Selu and I should name the other snake something else...
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|_ /\ |) `/ |-| /\ \/\/ |<

1.1 Arizona mountain kingsnakes (Chris Baubel and Gerold Merker)
1.1 Louisiana milksnakes (John Yurkovich)
1.2 Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.1 albino Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.0 hypo crimson corn (Kathy Love)
0.1 hypo corn / het for ghost (Kathy Love)
1.0 double-yellowheaded Amazon parrot

Last edited by Ladyhawk; 10-09-03 at 08:45 PM..
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Old 10-09-03, 08:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by tai_pan1
Kathy Love has great snakes. I've gotten two from her in the past. Congradulations on your 8 new arrivals.
She's just a joy to deal with, too. She's put up with all my questions and excitement. She's not only a great herpetoculturist, she's an extremely gracious person and handles her customers wonderfully.

I'd do business with her again in a millisecond.
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|_ /\ |) `/ |-| /\ \/\/ |<

1.1 Arizona mountain kingsnakes (Chris Baubel and Gerold Merker)
1.1 Louisiana milksnakes (John Yurkovich)
1.2 Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.1 albino Okeetee corns (Kathy Love)
1.0 hypo crimson corn (Kathy Love)
0.1 hypo corn / het for ghost (Kathy Love)
1.0 double-yellowheaded Amazon parrot
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